column width won't behave

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I have a report that I need to display in a table format, and the field
lengths vary for all of the columns. For the majority, I am happy for
the width to just adjust according to the width of the text, but I
don't want the text to go onto the next line where there is a space
(unless it's a really long field). here is my table header

<table  border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="5" width="100%">
    <td width='200'>Description</td>
    <td>Price (R)</td>
    <td width="30">Value (R)</td>

no matter what I set the width to for the description field, it comes
out looking exacly the same.

can anybody tell me what I'm doing wrong?

Re: column width won't behave

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There are several ways to prevent that. The choice between depends on the
content and context, especially on the nature of the long text inside the

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Hints: Don't set width to 100%, because it will unnecessarily stretch the
table when not needed. Consider using CSS instead of cellpadding, since
with CSS, you can set vertical padding (which is often not needed or needed
just a little) smaller than horizontal padding.

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Don't set widths, especially not in pixels, since you cannot know the font
size variation.

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I don't think so. But depending on the content as a whole and the canvas
width, much of the variation in the width setting might indeed have no

If you wish to prevent all line breaks inside a cell, you can use of the

<td nowrap>Description</td>

<td><nobr>Description</nobr></td> (nonstandard)

<td style="white-space:nowrap">Description</td>

Note: These ways often fail if you set a width for the cell!

Hint: It is sufficient to prevent breaks inside the cell of a column that
has the largest width requirement.

If you wish to prevent just some line breaks, it is often best to use
no-break spaces instead of normal spaces in the cell content.
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Well, you didn't post a URL that would illustrate the problem in its real
context. But there was perhaps enough information for a partly useful

Yucca, /
Pages about Web authoring:

Re: column width won't behave

thank you that is very useful, I unfortunately can't post the url
because it is for an intranet site. The problem that I have is that the
data I am putting into the table is out of a database - so I have no
control over the format of the contents of each cell (i.e. I can't put
&nbsp; inside, unless I replace all the spaces with &nbsp, which won't
be much good either). The <td nowrap> tag will be VERY useful (didn't
know about that) for some of the formatting, but the description field
needs to go onto two or three lines (otherwise it will be far too
wide). Once again I apologise for not being able to post my code, it is
sort of a confidential site (nothing too exciting though). I don't
understand why me setting the width of the column has no effect? that
would definitely be the most obvious solution.

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